Wallaroos bow out of tournament at quarter-final stage
Australia Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022
Australia’s Rugby World Cup campaign is over after they lost their quarter-final 41-5 against England in miserable conditions at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.
Given the wet weather, it was no surprise that both sides made several handling errors and struggled to put together multiple phases, especially in the opening 40 minutes when the weather was at its worst.
Australia aimed to limit England’s opportunities to launch their powerful set-piece but within eight minutes they had conceded a couple of penalties that allowed the Red Roses to get over the line from a five-metre scrum.
The Wallaroos were clearly under pressure on England’s put-in at scrum time while their own lineout struggled too – they won only a third on their own throw in the first half.
They conceded three first-half tries as their own infringements, including a yellow card for Shannon Parry, gave England the field position from which they took advantage.
Marlie Packer scored two tries in ten minutes, one from a maul and one from a nice inside ball from Zoe Harrison.
Australia did get on the scoreboard before the break, though. Liz Patu’s break after Tatyana Heard rushed up in defence helped to create a three-on-one overlap and Emily Chancellor enjoyed an easy run-in – or, more accurately, slide-in given the wet pitch.
Yet England were quick to reassert their dominance after the break, further tries coming from Abbie Ward, Amy Cokayne, Alex Matthews and Packer.
It was always expected that England would win this quarter-final, which pitted the Red Roses professionals against the amateur Wallaroos. It’s now a question of weather Rugby Australia will put more investment into their women’s 15s team ahead of the 2025 World Cup to help them to be more competitive.
Australia team to play England – Sunday 30 October
Pauline Piliae-Rasabale; Bienne Terita, Georgina Friedrichs, Sharni Williams, Lori Cramer; Arabella McKenzie, Layne Morgan; Liz Patu, Adiana Talakai, Bridie O’Gorman, Michaela Leonard, Grace Kemp, Emily Chancellor, Shannon Parry (captain), Grace Hamilton.
Replacements: Tania Naden, Emily Robinson, Eva Karpani, Sera Naiqama, Piper Duck, Iliseva Batibasaga, Cecilia Smith, Mahalia Murphy.
Australia 13-7 Wales
Australia booked their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a hard-fought 13-7 victory over Wales in Whangarei.
They were clearly the better side across the 80 minutes, albeit that they weren’t able to make that dominance show on the scoreboard.
Australia got off to the perfect start when Iliseva Batibasaga scored in the fifth minute, the scrum-half dummying her way through a gap to touch down under the posts. However, they didn’t score again until the last minute of the half when Lori Cramer added a penalty to her earlier conversion to give the Wallaroos a 10-7 lead.
The Wallaroos dominated territory and possession for the majority of the second period, but were unable to put more points on the board. They were held up over the line once and Wales’ scramble defence closed down other opportunities (Wales had to make three times as many tackles as Australia).
Then Australia were reduced to 14 players for the final ten minutes when Kaitlan Leaney was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Alex Callender and they spent most of that period in their own half.
However, Wales’ ill-discipline allowed them to gain field position and when they were presented with a kickable penalty, Cramer closed out the victory.
Australia team to play Wales – Saturday 22 October
Lori Cramer; Bienne Terita, Georgina Friedrichs, Sharni Williams, Ivania Wong; Arabella McKenzie, Iliseva Batibasaga; Liz Patu, Adiana Talakai, Bridie O’Gorman, Michaela Leonard, Grace Kemp, Emily Chancellor, Shannon Parry (captain), Grace Hamilton.
Replacements: Tania Naden, Emily Robinson, Eva Karpani, Kaitlan Leaney, Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Trilleen Pomare, Pauline Piliae-Rasabale.
Scotland 12-14 Australia
Australia recovered from a 12-0 half-time deficit and survived two late red cards to beat Scotland 14-12 in their Rugby World Cup Pool A match in Whangarei.
Ashley Marsters became the first player at this year’s World Cup to be sent off, seeing red for a dangerous tackle in the 76th minute of this match – just two minutes after the hooker had scored the try to level the scores.
Then another TMO check after the clock had passed 80 saw Adiana Talakai yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle on Lisa Thomson – and that was upgraded to red as she had been sin-binned in the first half for collapsing a maul. But they managed to withstand a late Scotland onslaught to hold on for the win, Arabella McKenzie with a crucial turnover rip with the final play.
A Wallaroos victory looked unlikely at half-time as Scotland had dominated the first 40, with those in gold struggling to deal with the Scottish maul, which delivered two tries – one for Lana Skeldon and a penalty try.
The slick attack Australia deployed seven days earlier in Auckland didn’t click in the first 40 minutes in Whangarei. Their best break of the half actually came from their tighthead, Eva Karpani, which demonstrates how their back-line couldn’t fire in the same way. Of course, the resoluteness of Scotland’s defence played a part in that too.
Momentum swung the Wallaroos’ way in the second half, though. They capitalised on Scotland’s inability to clear their lines and just before the hour mark they spread the ball left, right and back again to create an overlap for McKenzie to exploit with a wide pass to Bienne Terita to score – her fifth try in three Tests.
Lori Cramer converted that try and then Marsters’s, which proved crucial in ensuring the Wallaroos ended a run of seven straight defeats.
Australia team to play Scotland – Saturday 15 October
Lori Cramer; Bienne Terita, Georgina Friedrichs, Sharni Williams, Maya Stewart; Arabella McKenzie, Iliseva Batibasaga; Liz Patu, Adiana Talakai, Eva Karpani, Sera Naiqama, Atasi Lafai, Emily Chancellor, Shannon Parry (captain), Grace Hamilton.
Replacements: Ashley Marsters, Emily Robinson, Bridie O’Gorman, Grace Kemp, Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Trilleen Pomare, Pauline Piliae-Rasabale.
Australia 17-41 New Zealand
Australia rattled the Rugby World Cup hosts at Eden Park, building a 17-0 lead over New Zealand in the first half-hour, but ultimately lost 41-17.
Bienne Terita scored two tries in that opening period, finishing brilliantly in the corner on both occasions. The winger clearly enjoys playing against the Black Ferns having notched a brace in the Laurie O’Reilly series earlier this year.
The other try was scored by Ivania Wong, who picked up a loose ball and burst clear.
The Black Ferns had reduced the deficit by half-time thanks to tries from Joanah Ngan-Woo and Portia Woodman, and the scores were level early in the second half when Woodman crossed for her second.
Yellow cards to both Wong (deliberate knock-on) and Shannon Parry (dangerous tackle) meant they were reduced to 13 players for ten minutes and New Zealand took advantage with Ahwina Tangen-Wainohu and Woodman adding further tries.
A double from Ruby Tui closed out proceedings with the Wallaroos left to reflect on how they let that lead slip.
Australia team to play New Zealand – Saturday 8 October
Pauline Piliae-Rasabale; Bienne Terita, Georgina Friedrichs, Sharni Williams, Ivania Wong; Arabella McKenzie, Iliseva Batibasaga; Liz Patu, Adiana Talakai, Bridie O’Gorman, Sera Naiqama, Atasi Lafai, Emily Chancellor, Shannon Parry (captain), Grace Hamilton.
Replacements: Ashley Marsters, Emily Robinson, Eva Karpani, Michaela Leonard, Grace Kemp, Layne Morgan, Trilleen Pomare, Lori Cramer.
Australia Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022
Australia’s preparation for the 2022 Rugby World Cup has not been ideal.
In July 2021, then head coach Dwayne Nestor resigned after a recording where he and assistant Matt Tink used derogatory language about players emerged. New coach Jay Tregonning, who had never previously led an international side, came in.
Tregonning has eased the transition by emphasising the creation of a welcoming, open environment within the Wallaroos camp, but results on the pitch have not reflected the positive developments elsewhere.
After winning their opening game under Tregonning against Fiji, Australia lost their next six and will head to New Zealand short on form.
Tregonning named his 32-woman squad for the Rugby World Cup in early September.
Back-rower Shannon Parry will captain the Wallaroos at what will be her fourth World Cup, while two players from the sevens set-up are included – Bienne Terita, who scored a brace on her debut last month, and the experienced Sharni Williams. They will join the squad after the Sevens World Cup in Cape Town.
“The named squad has experience and depth, and we are looking forward to showing our continued improvement at the Rugby World Cup,” Tregonning said.
“It is important to acknowledge the whole squad, including those that have missed out on selection. Although disappointed, the players that have missed out have continued to train hard in their state-based training sessions and are committed to helping make their teammates stronger.”
Here is the Australia Women’s Rugby World Cup squad.
Iliseva Batibasaga (23 Mar 1985/NSW Waratahs/Scrum-half)
Lori Cramer (NSW Waratahs/Full-back)
Georgina Friedrichs (14 Apr 1995/NSW Waratahs/Centre)
Arabella McKenzie (1 Mar 1999/NSW Waratahs/Fly-half, Full-back)
Layne Morgan (NSW Waratahs/Scrum-half)
Mahalia Murphy (19 Jan 1994/NSW Waratahs/Centre)
Siokapesi Palu (Brumbies/Centre)
Pauline Piliae-Rasabale (NSW Waratahs/Centre)
Trilleen Pomare (5 Apr 1993/Western Force/Fly-half)
Cecilia Smith (13 Mar 1994/Queensland Reds/Wing)
Maya Stewart (13 Mar 2000/NSW Waratahs/Wing)
Bienne Terita (Australia Sevens/Wing)
Sharni Williams (2 Mar 1988/Australia Sevens/Centre)
Ivania Wong (Queensland Reds/Wing)
Emily Chancellor (NSW Waratahs/Back-row)
Bree-Anna Cheatham (Queensland Reds/Prop)
Piper Duck (1 Mar 2001/NSW Waratahs/No 8)
Grace Hamilton (4 Apr 1992/NSW Waratahs/Back-row)
Eva Karpani (NSW Waratahs/Prop)
Grace Kemp (Brumbies/Back-row)
Atasi Lafai (7 Dec 1995/NSW Waratahs/Lock)
Kaitlan Leaney (NSW Waratahs/Lock)
Michaela Leonard (6 Apr 1995/Brumbies/Lock)
Ashley Marsters (2 Nov 1993/Melbourne Rebels/Hooker)
Tania Naden (Brumbies/Hooker)
Sera Naiqama (26 Jul 1995/NSW Waratahs/Lock)
Bridie O’Gorman (NSW Waratahs/Prop)
Shannon Parry (27 Oct 1989/Queensland Reds/Back-row)
Liz Patu (15 Jul 1989/Queensland Reds/Prop)
Emily Robinson (6 Feb 1993/NSW Waratahs/Prop)
Madison Schuck (Queensland Reds/Prop)
Adiana Talakai (NSW Waratahs/Hooker)
Australia Women’s Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2022
(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)
Sat 8 Oct, Australia 17-41 New Zealand
Sat 15 Oct, Scotland 12-14 Australia
Sat 22 Oct, Australia 13-7 Wales
Sun 30 Oct, England 41-5 Australia
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